Biden faucets Julia Gordon to be FHA commissioner
The Biden administration has nominated Julia Gordon as Federal Commissioner for Housing Housing and Urban Development Department. As a commissioner, Gordon would Federal Housing Administration (FHA), oversee programs related to the private mortgage market and oversee the Federal Housing Administration’s $ 400 billion insurance portfolio.
The nomination follows a red-hot week of federal moves that resulted in the dismissal of Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria; the appointment of Sandra Thompson as Temporary Representative for Calabria; and the nomination of David Uejio, acting director of the Consumer Finance Protection Officeto serve as assistant secretary at the HUD.
Gordon, a respected housing industry veteran, is currently the president of the National Community Stabilization Trust, which promotes residential redevelopment in underserved markets. Gordon is an expert on federal home ownership, community development, and the country’s home finance system.
From 2011 to 2012 she headed the FHFA’s single-family policy team and was most recently a member of the FHFA’s review team and the HUD agency for the administration of Biden.
David Dworkin, President of the National Housing Conference, applauded Gordon’s nomination. As the nation advances into the post-pandemic era, housing policies will define how well the Homeowner Assistance Fund runs, what options FHA mortgage holders have to stay in their homes, and how to deal with borrowers who cannot, he said.
“There is no one in the United States right now who is better qualified for this job than Julia Gordon,” said Dworkin. “She understands better than almost anyone the importance of maintaining the stability of the neighborhood and the stability of the homeowner.”
Dworkin said Gordon would face a potentially daunting task should the Senate approve her nomination. It would then have to convince the best and brightest in the private sector to join the FHA for “a fraction of what they deserve,” Dworkin said.
“The challenge will be to convince them that they can make a difference, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.
As an FHA commissioner, Gordon could help make FHA loans more competitive in the marketplace. Along with Department of Veterans Affairs borrowers, those with FHA funding often find that sellers and lenders are less interested in working with them.
Housing industry representatives also welcomed the news of Gordon’s nomination. Bob Broeksmit, President of the Association of Mortgage Lenders, stressed that her previous experience at both FHFA and NCST would give her a “unique perspective” on housing market issues.
“We look forward to continuing to work with her, Secretary Marcia Fudge and others at the HUD and in the administration to ensure a strong FHA program that provides affordable rental and condominium for all Americans while protecting taxpayers,” Broeksmit said .
Broeksmit also highlighted the need to continue efforts to modernize the FHA, which is lagging behind other federal housing authorities.
“We also look forward to working with the agency to deliver the much-needed work to improve efficiency, reassurance and get more lenders back into the FHA program.”
Senior HUD officer Janet Golrick currently serves as the acting FHA commissioner. Dana Wade, who appointed President Donald Trump in early 2020, stepped down when Biden took over the presidency in January 2021. Prior to Wade, Brian Montgomery was Commissioner from 2018 to 2020.